Destinee Yudnich

Destinee Yudnich, owner and creative director of Blue Vessel Florista, walks bouquets of flowers past her storefront at 406 Harrison Ave. Yudnich will host a business warming party on Nov. 27.

Walking into Blue Vessel Florista on a snowy November day is like walking into another world. A cornucopia of plants fills the room and the warm air smells of a summer garden in bloom. There are flowers everywhere — in bouquets adorning shelves and tables, in water-filled buckets lining the floor, and in dried wreaths hanging from above.

“It’s a huge complement when people come into the store and say ‘This feels like home,’” Destinee Yudnich, owner and creative director of Blue Vessel Florista, explained of the shop.

Yudnich opened her storefront at 460 Harrison Ave. last March after running her original floral business, Florista Spells, out of her home for two years. Finding a versatile commercial space on Harrison Avenue that Yudnich could grow into provided the business owner an opportunity to step back and reenvision Florista Spells.

Yudnich decided to rebrand as Blue Vessel Florista, a name she thinks better captures the business’ spirit, and widen her services to include floral arrangements, decor rentals, styling, workshops and more. The rebranding process aligned with Yudnich’s dedication to “slow growth” — figuring out, bit by bit, how to grow the business while meeting Leadville’s needs and finding happiness within her work.

Flowers always have been and always will be central to Blue Vessel Florista. Yudnich offers fresh and dried flower bouquets for delivery and walk-in customers, as well as plants such as potted cacti and other succulents. But what really pays the bills, Yudnich said, is events.

Last summer, Blue Vessel created floral arrangements for over 30 weddings, celebrations of love that varied from small elopements to full-service weddings at venues like Freight, Camp Hale and the Surf Motel in Buena Vista. Some weekends, Yudnich worked weddings three days in a row; other weekends, multiple weddings in one day.

“I haven’t even had time to reflect on the summer season,” Yudnich said. “It consumed my entire life.”

Blue Vessel also offers decor rentals for events, primarily ornamental pieces Yudnich referred to as “odds and ends that help set the mood.” Such rentals include wood rounds, candelabras, “boho-chic” rugs and various ornate vases and vessels.

As the wedding season slows and winter sets in, Yudnich is looking forward to pouring energy into her storefront and cultivating a stronger presence on Harrison Avenue. She plans to add signage and lighting to the exterior of the building, keep the market stand currently stationed outside the shop stocked with plants, clean up the store’s interior and add home goods to the shop’s for sale inventory.

At some point down the road, Yudnich hopes to rent the shop out as an event space for intimate gatherings such as baby showers, elopements and workshops. The business owner is also interested in renting booth space within the store to local artisans and food makers.

“I want to add some new culture to downtown,” Yudnich said, after noting how other new local businesses, such as Zero Day Coffee and Tony Chudyk’s tattoo shop, have inspired her. “We focus a lot on history here, but I want to pave the way for some new history.”

Yudnich will host a business warming party on Shop Small Saturday, Nov. 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Blue Vessel Florista, 460 Harrison Ave. The event will feature live jazz music from 1 to 3 p.m. in collaboration with Leadvillian Music. Locals are encouraged to bring family, friends and old vases they would like to recycle.

Yudnich will also lead a Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. and a Winter Wreath Workshop on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. Tickets for the events are $65 and $75 respectively.

Blue Vessel Florista is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, visit the business’ website at www.bluevesselflorista.com or find the business on Facebook at @FloristaLeadville or on Instagram at @bluevessel_florista.

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